Thousands of devotees across the nation took a holy dip and offered prayers on Saturday on the occasion of Basant Panchami, a festival that marks the onset of spring season.
People and priests gathered in large numbers at 'Sangam', the confluence of River Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati, in Allahabad.
"In 'Prayagraj' on the banks of confluence of three rivers, people will take holy dip for Goddess Saraswati's blessings," a priest, Acharya Rajan Mishra, said.
Locals queued up before priests who had erected makeshift altars on the riverbanks to perform the rituals and offer prayers in Varanasi.
The festival glorifies Goddess Saraswati, deity of music, culture and learning. Artists and students offer special prayers to the Goddess on this day.
Clay idols of Goddess Saraswati riding a swan and seated on a lotus, are worshipped in every household, schools, colleges and community clubs across the city. The rituals start early morning and last till mid-day, with priests chanting hymns and blowing conch shells and families sharing 'prasad'.
The festival concurs with 'Basant Panchami', which is also named as 'Shree Panchami'. Women dress in yellow, which is the colour of spring, and prepare a variety of sweets flavoured with saffron. (ANI)